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ReliefSlipLineEvery Redbox has them. You’ve probably seen them. You might even (gasp!) BE one of them. I’m talking about the colorful, eclectic cast of characters that patronize Redbox and make each visit such an “interesting” experience. There are several Redbox kiosks close to my house, and each one has provided an up-close, personal introduction to many of these characters. You yourself most likely know a few of them.

  • Mr. and Mrs. Bickerton. Have any marriages ever ended in front of a small LCD screen? If so, it was probably these two. The Bickertons, who took a solemn vow to love, honor and cherish one another for the rest of their lives, can’t even agree on a Saturday night movie without vicious criticisms and name-calling. Usually rocking sweatpants, these two slowly forget that there are five people in line behind them as their debate gets louder and more personal with each vetoed movie.
  • Captain Commitment. The “More Titles” button was created for this guy. He scrolls through the box’s entire inventory three times, reads the reviews of a dozen films, and then walks away empty handed. And this man’s still single, ladies!
  • Mr. On-Top-of-It. Forgot which movie he’s supposed to pick up and has to have a lengthy call to figure it out? Check. Asks you to hold his place in line as he runs out to his car to grab his wallet? Check. Has a bulging sack of groceries in one hand, a crying baby in the other, a three-year-old terrorizing  people in line and he’s still trying to carefully choose between Wolverine and Crank 2: High Voltage? Check, check, check.
  • The Rookie. She’s young, she’s cute, and she’s a nightmare. Hesitantly pecking at the screen, growing more flustered and SLOWER as the line builds behind her, she will add an easy ten minutes to your Redbox experience. One of her more charming attributes is slowly entering in her email address EVERY time she rents a movie.
  • The Code Overloader. You know you’re in trouble when the guy in front of you pulls out an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper with every Redbox code in existence on it and proceeds to enter, fail, enter, fail. Dude, BREAKROOM is not going to work on your Visa again!

So, my fellow RedHeads, did I miss anyone? Any character sightings at a Redbox near you? Have you ever been one of these people? (Maybe I have, maybe I haven’t. I’ll never tell!) Comment away.

44 Responses to “(R)editorial: The Characters of Redbox”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    Aight then [visitor]

    You forgot the Cheap Bastard. But I guess that applies to most of RedBox customers so nevermind.

  2. Member [Join Now]

    Agreed, the Cheap Bastard. This guy shows up on the first Monday of every month with his rental code and 10 credit cards. He then proceeds to get one movie at a time and shoves it in his pockets, before repeating the process from the beginning with the next card until all are used and pockets are full.

    Note: Guy also shows up on Tuesday to return 10 movies…

  3. Member [Join Now]

    Never had to deal with any of these people as I rent my movies on Tues. morning when they’re released and no one’s around. Best time of the day to frequent the RB IMHO.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Josh Soudry [visitor]

    The 7 yr old whose mom doesn’t know where he’s at. Duh, he’s at the RB looking at all of the horror flicks. Ten minutes later his mom finally realizes where he’s at when she decides to check out…

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    rb [visitor]

    I seem to get behind Mr and Mrs Bickerton a lot. After around 4 or 5 minutes, I even start to counsel by giving suggestions of good movies I’ve seen in hopes they’ll just choose one BUT they seem to enjoy the bickering more. I REALLY enjoy a good working promo code but I don’t know about the 10 credit cards+. Excess is one of the 7 deadly sins. Think I enjoy and appreciate more the hunt, use and sharing of a good working code(9HB6MP22) to benefit all. It’s the detective and bargain hunter in me.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    todd [visitor]
    I work for VBG. To find out why this is important, click here.

    Don’t forget about the underaged kid renting R-rated and un-rated movies out of the kiosk because they can get them there by pushing a button unlike at a video store where they card you.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      rumblefish [visitor]

      I’m sure if the kid has his own credit card or permission to use his parents card he is using it on things a lot worse than an r rated movie Todd….If an underage kid has THAT much freedom with a credit card I am guessing internet porn isn’t hard to get for them either…… get real.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        todd [visitor]
        I work for VBG. To find out why this is important, click here.

        you ever heard of a gift card? kids get them from grandparents. My 14 year old has his own check card and I don’t let him watch R-rated movies but he brought home the movie “Forgetting Sara Marshall” It had naked men and women in it and I was angry that he was able to access it. As far as internet porn have you ever heard of parental restrictions on content all computers have them? if not take a more active role in your kids life.

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          rumblefish [visitor]

          My kids are still very young…but you just said it yourself. Take an active role…and you did. Don’t rely on others to police your child. I assume your child learned from the experience and knows now that you disapprove of movies like that and will never try it again….right?

          I worked in and with independent video stores all over this country of ours for many years and of you think they are restricting R rated rentals to minors you’ve got another thing coming. Stores that do are the rare exception. The big chains are another story but the indies? haha laughable

  7. Member [Join Now]

    Or the “Captain Commitment” folks that argue, “You can’t rent from RedBox online”, as they stand there for 15 mins.

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    todd [visitor]
    I work for VBG. To find out why this is important, click here.

    How about the guy behind you who keeps getting pissed off because he just wants to return a movie but your taking to long.

  9. Member [Join Now]
    UBM [ubm]

    You forgot my #1 fav/pet peeve people:

    The “Over the Limit” people, who have like two or 3 redbox titles already checked out,
    and try to go and check out another two or three, taking 120 mins or so to pick up those next three, and then when they go to checkout, end up getting the
    ‘We’re sorry, but you have exceeded your rental limit” screen!

    (a variant on this is the ones who try and check out more than four titles
    at a time, and get the same screen, and then fight/argue with their
    kids/husband about what’s being cut!)

    also there is:

    the “new Card person” who has a new Visa card, and hasn’t activated it yet
    (sticker still on it) and tries to use it at Redbox before activating it,
    and gets frustrated after 10 mins of swiping (i never laughed so
    hard in my life), because it keeps getting rejected.

    the “bouncing on balls of feet guy” where if you have a Wal-mart
    with two redbox machines side by side, this guy is trying to scroll
    through both AT THE SAME TIME to find the movie he wants,
    bouncing back and forth trying to read through both,
    while your in line at 5 til 9pm trying to return a movie.

    the “curbside service guy” who pulls up to the redbox outside
    of mcdonalds or walgreens at the curb and tries to get his kids
    to return the movies or check out new ones, by instructing them from
    the car!

    shouldn’t there be a sign that says “your IQ must be ( insert number)to use this kiosk?” lol

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Gary [visitor]

      Similar to the guy trying to do two machines at once: the mother with a half dozen children, one of them pushing a second cart, and blocking access to the machine she isn’t even using. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

  10. Member [Join Now]

    How about the idiot that is trying to return a movie but can’t “read” the arrow on the case that tells him (or her) which way to insert it into the machine! I’ve helped several people trying to return movies because they obviously can’t read or are just too stupid to figure out how to return a movie, that’s the only way to get them the hell out of my way so I can rent or return a movie!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      FalconFour [visitor]

      Hey. I’ve been that guy several times. It just makes sense to me that the barcode should be facing you, not away. When I see that little graphic next to the slot, I don’t notice what it says, but I just think it’s reminding me of what I already know. Oh – wait… that says to put the big LOGO side towards me. How little sense does that make? It’s not that they can’t read, it’s that it simply doesn’t make sense…

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Robert [visitor]

      My favorite is a lady who was holding up the line, then I relized she was trying to return a DVD-Play movie at a redbox! She felt bad, but I only laughed after she left…

  11. Member [Join Now]

    What about the “Seen Every Movie Guy”..he’s usually right behind you in line and to make matters worse he’s glaring over your shoulder and believes his sole purpose in life is to be your own personal roger ebert.. or the guy third in line who is talking to his friend about the movie he’s returning and how crappy the ending was and right as you get your movie and walk past him you realize he’s talking about the movie you just got!! and your only hope is the guy only has three brain cells and no taste and the ending of the movie was just to complex for his little mind to comprehend…. but alas two hours later…. he just because the jerk that ruined it all for you!!

  12. Member [Join Now]
    Shemp Howard [shemp-howard]

    A few characters…

    “The Good Samaritan”
    One who helps the novice negotiate the front panel and or shares a promo code with anyone ahead or behind. If anyone is at the kiosk I visit; I try to be “The Good Samaritan”.

    “The Scam Artist”
    One who thinks there is something “wrong” with the kiosk’s card reader, while trying to scan an expired or bogus card over and over again without success, trying the patients of those waiting. Then asks others to try their card to see if the reader “works” so a title can be stolen using some else’s account. Look out for these folks! I’ve seen several .

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jody [visitor]

    haha….these are pretty funny…..but fortunately, I have never had to ever wait in line to pick up or drop off. Do you all live in the city????

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      FalconFour [visitor]

      I live smack in middle of a relatively large – but quite spread-out – city. I never have had to wait at a line to return a movie. It’s actually a rare sight to see lines at any of the several Redbox locations I’ve been to. Not so rare to see someone standing at one, but quite rare to see someone waiting behind them.

      I think if there’s a line, they need more Redboxes ;)

      • Member [Join Now]
        Carson [carson]

        I live in Phoenix and I never wait in line either.

        If there was a line, I would just leave. If I was returning a movie, I would ask #2 in line if I could just return it real quick…

        I wonder if anyone has ever had to be forced to wait in line past 9pm, costing another dollar, that would suck.

  14. Member [Join Now]
    Stoneygirl76 [stoneygirl76]

    How about Elderly Line Hopper? The person who, upon arriving at the line, finds a way to weasel in once the current redbox user vacates the machine. They completely take advantage of the courtesy space you, line holder #2, give line holder #1 and proceed to cut in line with not even a glance to the others who were already waiting!

    I get that you’re old, have a date with the Geriatric clinic and likely your arthritis is bothering you, but that gives you no right to pretend I’m invisible and wasn’t standing here before you hobbled up! Better watch it, Granny…next time I might not be so accomodating!

  15. Visitor [Join Now]
    Chris [visitor]

    I say push the old person out of the way–just kidding. Just embarrass the heck out of them by calling them out. hah

  16. Member [Join Now]
    The Turnip [the-turnip]

    * The Lazy Illiterates – my favorite pet peeve. Instead of parking in a parking spot and walking (gasp!) 30 whole feet, they tie-up the drive-through lane at McDonalds by parking in front of the sign that reads, “NO PARKING while renting or returning DVDs to Redbox.” I like to knock loudly once on the metal sign. When Lazy turns around to see what the noise was, I also act surprised, look at the sign and ask, “What was that?” Getting the stink-eye is fun.

    * The Campers. I think they are Captain Commitment’s parents. I saw a couple standing at a ‘Box as I waited for the traffic signal. Somehow they were able to give the impression of slowness from 500 feet away. “What the heck,” I thought, “I’ll eat dinner first and pick up a movie on my way home.” OVER AN HOUR LATER, they were still there!

    * The Swarm. Six teen-aged girls, half on cell phones, trying to decide on which movie to rent by committee. I think I heard the terms, “Like, Oh My God” and “No way!” 700 times in 2 minutes. Like, totally, oh my God, I would have stabbed myself if I had like totally stayed any longer!

  17. Member [Join Now]

    Great topic! There is almost always someone in front of me everytime I visit my Box here in Virginia Beach area, I have yet to see anyone pic up a reserved movie (which I do 90% of the time), so I end up waiting usually.

    One time the line was about 8 people long, glad I wasn’t at the end of that.

    • Member [Join Now]

      There’s never been more than two of us at the machine. I usually just wait in my car so as not to breathe down their neck. This is the only Redbox in the small town it’s in with the next being 20 mins. farther. I would love to reserve online and avoid searching the choices, as the machine faces south and the screen is hard to see. I want to use my codes though, so no-go on reserving.

  18. Visitor [Join Now]
    Joey [visitor]

    I’ve never had to wait more than a couple of minutes for a box. Then again, there are three within 1/2-mile in my part of Chicago.

  19. Visitor [Join Now]
    Don [visitor]

    I would like to change my name as required upon log in – I foolishly gave my full correct name when initially reg. now my comments have my full name att. you have a great service- please help. Change name to farmer would be fine. Thank you Don Gustafson

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Mom [visitor]

      Um, you showed up simply as Don. At least until you typed in your whole name!! Please don’t blame your ignorance on farmers. I know a few, they’re quite sharp businessmen. They have to be to prosper.

  20. Visitor [Join Now]
    LooziAnna [visitor]

    There is a place for you to put a ‘nickname.’ When you publish anything, they will use the nickname.

  21. Visitor [Join Now]
    MC [visitor]

    Don’t forget Blog Comic, the online loser with a misguided superiority complex.

  22. Visitor [Join Now]
    Manny [visitor]

    Your forgot The Perv Renter… the guy trying to find the find the movies closest to soft core porn…..

  23. Visitor [Join Now]
    bosscain [visitor]

    at the mcdonalds the person with greasy fingers that touches the screen and then messes up the functionality of the screen and you cant type in your code or return a movie. Or the person or group of people that loads up on movies the previous night and then returns them all at the same location and when it finally your turn to return your one movie, it says that the machine is full and try later or at a different location.

  24. Member [Join Now]

    I seem to always get stuck behind the person who swipes their card about 50 the wrong way untill I have to lean in and say try turning it around and WOW it works. You’d figure that after the third time they might try but they never do

  25. Visitor [Join Now]
    COle [visitor]

    “The Spanish Speaking Guy”- There is a large group of Latinos in the area that I live in and while that is is no big deal taking over the kiosk is. The screen says “En Espanol” on a button but they proceed to try to rent the movie with the English instructions. After several minutes of pressing buttons they still can’t figure it out so they call over one of their kids to try and translate for them. But then the kid gets into a fight with his/her sibling about what they should rent while the dad is scratching his head trying to figure out how to get back from the movie discription to the main page. This seems to happen to be almost everytime I visit one of the Walmarts in my area.

    “Stare at the Display”- This person (many times a group) stands around staring at anything but the display of new movies while waiting his/her time in line. Yet when he/she gets up to the screen instead of looking at what movies the kiosk actually has they begin to look at the display beside the kiosk. Many time the displays in my area are put in backwards so that you can’t read the names, yet this person will get there face right up on the display to try to make out the words. In the mean time they have left half their body in front of the screen preventing anyone else from using it. If it is a group one person stands place in front of the screen while the other looks at the display and they ask each other back and forth “What is that movie? What is that about?” When he/she finally touches the screen they begin to look for the movie which has already been rented out. They proceed to go through each category looking for the movie. In the end when you have been standing there for 15-20 mintues and all your hair is gone they walk away with NO movie in hand!!

  26. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jo Anne [visitor]

    How about the “expert” or the “movie critic”? I’m afraid I’m very guilty of this. When I see a movie I absolutely just loved, and there is someone in front of me, I am compelled to give a review. If I think you are really attentive and not just letting me ramble, I’ll tell you that I used to write film reviews for an underground paper in Phoenix.

    I am truly pathetic. But I DID convince someone to rent The Changling, so that made me happy.

  27. Visitor [Join Now]
    infrared [visitor]

    “Prince and Princess Savvy.” This cute twenty-something couple is browsing at length through movie titles and descriptions. They appear completely oblivious to the people waiting behind them and discuss each movie. They practically grew up with computers and the Web. Yet they apparently don’t realize they can find Redbox movies online, find out what’s available at the machine they’re monopolizing, and even (wow) reserve online?!?